Young, old, injured, ill, abused, and unsocialized animals are sometimes given a break from shelter life in the form of foster care. Foster programs give pets a chance to grow or learn so they can have the best chance for adoption into forever homes. While fostering a pet can be demanding and taxing, it’s often one of the most rewarding experiences an animal lover can ever have. Do you have what it takes?
The Typical Process
There is an application process involved in fostering a pet. While every organization is a little different, you will likely be asked to verify that you can supply the right amount of time, space, dedication, and an unwavering desire to help. Sometimes, an inspection of your home or property are necessary; otherwise, an orientation and training program are required.
Please check with your landlord or property manager before applying to foster a pet.
Supplies and Materials
Usually, food and any necessary medication is supplied to the foster family at no cost. However, you are responsible for litter and a litter box, food bowls, toys, and providing transportation to routinely schedule wellness visits with foster program staff members.
A Temporary Commitment
It’s not uncommon for foster families to take in small puppies or kittens that are weaning or pets who need to gain a little weight before undergoing a spay/neuter procedure. Animals that are recovering from an illness may enter a foster home to best heal or recuperate.
When fostering a pet, it’s important to remain as flexible as possible. That being said, however, the commitment time varies widely between a couple weeks to an entire year. Many foster families end up adopting their foster pet once the inimitable human-animal bond has formed.
Be knowledgeable when signing up and understand what you’re agreeing to; fostering a pet impacts everyone involved.
Why Fostering a Pet Matters
Besides directly affecting a pet’s adoptability, fostering a pet opens up space in shelters and rescues to help additional animals in need. By providing opportunities for socialization and affection, foster pets have a higher chance of being adopted permanently.
What About My Current Pet?
Most foster pet applications require proof of vaccinations for any current pets to ensure all animals in your care are protected from contagious diseases. Unfortunately, there is the risk of exposing all animals involved to different germs or contagions. It’s worth it to work closely with foster care personnel toward disease prevention.
Depending on your foster pet’s needs, it may be necessary to isolate him or her from the rest of your household. Otherwise, plan accordingly for a slow, supportive, and relaxed introduction.
Check it Out
If you’re interested in fostering a pet, check out one of the following organizations:
- San Antonio Pets Alive!
- Animal Defense League of Texas
- San Antonio Humane Society
- City of San Antonio Animal Care Services
Thank you for your interest in fostering a pet. If you have any questions or concerns about fostering a pet in need, we welcome your call.